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using 'begin' in the present perfect with time expression

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using 'begin' in the present perfect with time expression

Postby former » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:33 am

Greetings,

I have recently been caught out, so to speak, when I asked a student during a game to conjugate the verb 'begin' in the present perfect. She replied:

"I have begun studying for 3 years"

As a native speaker, this struck me as incorrect. I believe this is grammatically correct (insert another verb other than 'begin' e.g "I have studied for 3 years), but it simply doesn't make sense. For the sake of clarity, I know how to say this correctly using other tenses:

"I have begun studying" (no time expression)
or
"I have been studying for 3 years"
or
"I began studying 3 years ago"

But, the question was for the student to use the verb 'begin' in the present perfect.

My conclusion, and I am fully prepared to be told I'm wrong, is that it is grammatically correct, but it just doesn't make sense to "have begun" doing something for 3 threes. In my mind, this statement means I have been on chapter 1 page 1 everyday for three years. Even if the student's answer was:

"I have begun studying since 2009"

I would think the same: It's grammatically correct, but it doesn't make sense.

This is my first post here. Please don't dump on me. I'm a new teacher, and I'm just looking for some insight from some of the old sages here.

Thanks in advance.

former
former
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Re: using 'begin' in the present perfect with time expressio

Postby Tukanja » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:25 pm

I am not familiar with the word "studying" in the sentences. I'd say it this way below.
As a learner I wonder if this below could be correct.

I began to study three years ago.(the simple past)

Have you begun to study? Yes, I have. (perfected tense)
Have you begun your studies? Yes, I have.

Have you been beginning your studies before? (perfected continuous form)
Yes, I have but it didn't work.

Thanks
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Re: using 'begin' in the present perfect with time expressio

Postby sweethuman » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:04 am

former wrote:Greetings,





But, the question was for the student to use the verb 'begin' in the present perfect.

former


All your examples were correct grammatically.
Maybe to your extent it might not be sensible, however we can't use BEGIN in the present perfect tense because that is both grammatically and structure wise incorrect.
Always a 3rd form of the verb is used with Present perfect (BEGUN).
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